The recent global trend towards the legalization of Marijuana has made many people curious about the benefits of using the drug for both recreational and health purposes. People are particularly interested in how Marijuana delivers the feel good effects that it is so renowned for.
The effects of Marijuana are primarily due to a variety of different chemicals found in the plant which fall under the general heading of cannabinoids. Around 66 of these chemicals are found in the Marijuana plant. The best researched of these is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – also known as THC. It is THC that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of using Marijuana.
The effects of cannabinoids are due to them interacting (usually binding to) specific receptors in the central nervous system – primarily the brain. The effects are actually similar to the effects of opiates like those derived from the Poppy – but have been characterized as more subtle. The receptors that are affected by Marijuana consumption are primarily concerned with the limbic function of the central nervous system. This means that Marijuana will affect areas of the brain that are responsible for cognitive functioning such as cognition, memory and coordination – including fine motor skills.
In addition the effects can also be felt in our perception of pain and the brains reward center.
Although THC is the most well known of the cannabinoids there is also another type – CBD which has been shown to have anti anxiety effects. Seeing as CBD makes up approximately 40% of the cannabinoids in Marijuana its effects can be marked. For many people it is the anti anxiety effects of Marijuana consumption that have attracted them to its use.
Another important cannabinoid is Cannabigerol also known as CBG. This chemical has been shown to significantly improve the quality of life of those people who are suffering from Glaucoma. It reduces intraocular pressure.
Yet another cannabinoid, CBN has been shown to have a significant effect on people who suffer from sleep disorders. It is responsible for a feeling of lethargy and drowsiness.
Although much needs to still be researched about the effects of cannabinoids it is becoming clear that Marijuana holds great promise for the treatment of many conditions. This is also why there is a large amount of ongoing research into the development of synthetic cannabinoids.
these chemicals are markedly different from those found in the natural form in Marijuana – but they also bind to the same receptors that natural cannabinoids do. The launch of the synthetic cannabinoids early in the 21st century was in part to avoid the regulations and laws governing the sale of natural Marijuana. Due to the fact that the cannabinoids used in these substances differed chemically from the natural chemical they managed to avoid the legal issues associated with Marijuana consumption. However, many of these loopholes have today been closed, however laboratories continue to refine and reformulate these products to stay one step ahead of the law.
The consumption of Marijuana for recreational purposes continues to escalate as it becomes even more widely available;e – however even more exciting are the potential medical benefits of the chemicals.